Bruce McIver, has been recognised in Birthday Honours by the Queen and been appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia for his significant service to politics and the road transport industry.
He was part of the small group who founded what became the Australian Trucking Association in 1989, held the position of Chair from 1991 to 1994 and was a trust fund director from 1992 to 2015. He was the inaugural President of the Livestock Transporters’ Association of Queensland and President of the Australian Livestock Transporters’ Association (now the Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters’ Association).
The period in which Bruce McIver was chairman of the Road Transport Forum, later the ATA, can be characterised as one of consolidation of the foundations for an organisation which could last the course and do the job for which it had been formed.
“I am one of these kinds of guys who if I find a need and believe I can make a difference I would do it,” said Bruce McIver in an interview, ten years ago, during research into ATA history. “I felt that by 1994, I had done what I had set out to do and it was time for someone else to take it to the next step. Also, around this time, in my business we were starting to get involved with the mining industry and this took up more of my time. For the three-year period in which I was chairman, I was working there virtually full-time. Andrew Higginson (Executive Director of the then RTF) and I developed a very close relationship over those three years. It was a very trusting relationship.”
Bruce McIver stepped back from the RTF to concentrate on his business. He eventually sold what had become the McIver Corporation in 2003 with the intention of retiring. He must have missed the cut and thrust of the political life, however. Going on to serve as the President of the Liberal National Party in Queensland, in the formation of which he was deeply involved.
“I think if we didn’t have the RTF, and then the ATA, the industry would look a lot different to the way it looks now,” said McIver. “I think there would have been a lot more actions like blockades, there would have been a lot more accidents and a lot more problems like that. We’ve had one little ruckus, as far as blockades go, in 20 years.
“The number of fatalities is down at the same time as the tonnage of freight being moved has increased dramatically. We now have B-doubles and B-triples on the roads, I don’t think we would have got them. We’ve ended up with an industry that is more efficient, moving twice the tonnage it did 20 years ago. I think it’s been a real benefit to the nation’s economy. I think we could have gone a lot further in the last 20 years, and should have done. It really needs somebody dig in there now and give it another boot to get things going.”